Interfaith coalition of national and local organizations file amicus brief in lawsuit
challenging Executive Order that effectively bans refugee resettlement

New York, NY — Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA) and Catholic Charities USA filed an amicus brief with 27 interfaith partners in a lawsuit challenging the Executive Order permitting state governors and county executives to veto refugee resettlement within their borders. The brief supports a motion for preliminary injunction, which would halt the Executive Order’s implementation and enforcement while the case proceeds.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court of Maryland by HIAS, Church World Service (CWS), and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS), challenges the legality of the Executive Order, which would require the nine U.S. resettlement agencies—including HIAS, CWS, and LIRS—to obtain written consent from the states and localities in which they plan to resettle refugees. Without that consent, resettlement will cease, preventing refugees from reuniting with friends and family, and undermining resettlement infrastructure.

“JCPA is proud to have taken a leading role in filing this brief in support of HIAS and the other national refugee resettlement agencies. Current law requires that state and local governments be consulted regarding refugee resettlement. This is reasonable. However, no state or local government should be permitted to prohibit resettlement of refugees in its jurisdiction. To do so will, among other negative consequences, inhibit family reunification,” said David Bohm, Chair of JCPA’s Policy Advisory Committee and one of the authors of the brief.

The amicus brief argues that the faith traditions of the amici command us to welcome refugees, the most vulnerable among us. In Jewish law, we are instructed no fewer than 36 times that “The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as one of your citizens; you shall love him as yourself, for you were strangers in the Land of Egypt.” (Leviticus 19:33-34).

Pending the Court’s decision on the Motion for Preliminary Injunction, JCPA is working with Jewish community relations councils in states across the country to successfully secure public consent decrees.

A number of JCPA member agencies joined the brief, including the Anti-Defamation League, Jewish Labor Committee, National Council of Jewish Women, Rabbinical Assembly, Reconstructionist Rabbinical Association, and Union of Reform Judaism, as well as the St. Louis, Greater Washington, and Milwaukee Jewish Community Relations Councils. Click here to read the full brief and click here for the list of amici.


Next Up:


Take Action Donate

May 22, 2024

Broad Coalition of 61 National Jewish Organizations Urge Swift Congressional Action on Countering Antisemitism Act


Ben Meyerson

May 14, 2024

JCPA Statement Marking Two Years Since the Buffalo Attack

May 9, 2024

New Partnership Will Mobilize to Counter Rising Bigotry, Defend Democracy Spearheaded by Jewish Council for Public Affairs

May 9, 2024

JCPA Launches New Action Networks to Protect Democracy and Combat Hate

May 7, 2024

Jewish Council for Public Affairs Responds to President Biden’s Remarks at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Days of Remembrance Ceremony

April 22, 2024

The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle: Antisemitism is a threat to all

April 10, 2024

Jewish Council for Public Affairs Applauds Introduction of Countering Antisemitism Act in Congress

March 30, 2024

JCPA at the White House

March 7, 2024

Jewish Council for Public Affairs Responds to President Biden’s State of the Union Address